Gleipnir (manga)

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Gleipnir
Gleipnir volume 1 cover.jpg
Cover of Gleipnir volume 1 by Kodansha
グレイプニル
(Gureipuniru)
GenreAction, dark fantasy, romantic comedy[1]
Manga
Written bySun Takeda
Published byKodansha
English publisher
MagazineYoung Magazine the 3rd
DemographicSeinen
Original runOctober 6, 2015 – present
Volumes8 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed byKazuhiro Yoneda
Written byShinichi Inotsume
Music byRyōhei Sataka
StudioPine Jam
Licensed byFunimation
Original networkTokyo MX
Original run April 5, 2020 – present
Episodes7 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Gleipnir (グレイプニル, Gureipuniru) is a Japanese manga series by Sun Takeda. It has been serialized in Kodansha's seinen manga magazine Young Magazine the 3rd since October 2015 and has been collected in eight tankōbon volumes. The manga is published in North America by Kodansha Comics. An anime television series adaptation by Pine Jam premiered on April 5, 2020.

Plot[edit]

The story centers on Shuichi Kagaya, a high school student with an unusual secret. He has the ability to transform into a monster resembling a giant mascot costume with a zipper down his back and a large cartoonish smile. After rescuing fellow classmate, Claire Aoki, from a warehouse fire, she sadistically decides to use him to hunt down other monsters in search of her sister.

Characters[edit]

Shuichi Kagaya (加賀谷 修一, Kagaya Shuichi)
Voiced by: Natsuki Hanae[2]
The teen male protagonist with the ability to transform into a dog-like mascot costume, complete with an oversized functioning revolver on his belt and a zipper up his spine which, when opened, allows others to climb inside his empty body, increasing the physical and mental abilities of both. When transformed Kagaya gains the physical abilities of a human at peak levels of fitness, strength and endurance, and when paired with a partner inside him his abilities become superhuman. He retains some of his abilities in his human form such as a sense of smell even keener than a dogs. His human appearance is downright average with the exception of a noticeable scar around his neck following an almost fatal fight against Claire's sister, Elena.
Claire Aoki (青木 紅愛, Aoki Kurea)[a]
Voiced by: Nao Tōyama[2]
The teen female protagonist. After witnessing her older sister, Elena, transform into a monster and murder their parents she fell into depression and attempted suicide when no one believed her. After Kagaya saved her from a suicide attempt she became obsessed with finding her sister and discovering the truth behind the creation of monsters. At first she was abusive towards Kagaya, viewing him as a tool and nothing more, but over time grew to care about him to the point she swore to kill herself should Kagaya die first so they can stay together always. Behind her cheerful, and often perverted, personality, Claire possesses a determination that allows her to kill without hesitation or remorse and close herself off from her emotions to an extent that Kagaya finds terrifying. Being a regular human, Claire is physically weak, but when she's inside Kagaya she gains full control of his body movements as well as receiving a massive boost to her physical capabilities, pushing them into superhuman levels.
Elena Aoki (青木 江麗奈, Aoki Erena)
Voiced by: Kana Hanazawa[2]
The older sister of Claire. After gaining the ability to transform into a large, ghost like monster she murdered her own parents, seemingly for the hypocritical manner in which they raised her and Claire with strict rules despite themselves being terrible people. She loves Claire dearly and may be the only person she is unwilling to harm. Emotionally unstable and psychotic even before becoming a monster she has, according to Kagaya after he scented her clothing, committed a staggering number of murders. Elena is revealed to have a crush on Kagaya and was the once who turned him into a monster so she could climb inside him and truly "become one" with him. The idea that anyone else might be inside him sends her into such a rage she was willing to tear Kagaya's head off to get to the person inside him, only stopping after realising it was Claire, and Kagaya only surviving due to some unknown ability of his monster form to keep him alive despite experiencing a normally fatal injury.
Alien (宇宙人, Uchūbito)
Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai[3]
A member of a highly advanced alien species with the ability to grant seemingly any wish in return for finding a golden coin which contains one of his fellow aliens. Should anyone locate 100 coins he has even offered to grant that person enough power to do almost anything, even destroy a planet should they wish, seemingly with no regard for how such a power may be abused.
Nana Mifune (三船 奈々, Mifune Nana)
Voiced by: Miku Itō[3]
One of Kagaya's human friends. She is constantly cheerful, enough so that Kagaya once felt better about his terrible monster life just by having a normal conversation with her. It is suggested she has a crush on Kagaya as she was the only one to notice how depressed he was while everyone else just thought he looked cooler than he had before.
Abukawa (アブカワ, Abukawa)
Voiced by: Yoshiaki Hasegawa[3]
One of Kagaya's human friends who once saved him from bullies.
Hikawa (氷川, Hikawa)
Voiced by: Shizuka Ishigami[3]
The first Gatherer encountered by Claire and Kagaya. Having found a coin she asked the Alien for increased speed so she could excel at sports but came to hate her new abilities after it transformed her arms and legs into monster limbs. Desperate to return to her normal human body she attempted to kill Claire and Kagaya for their coin only to die herself when Claire mercilessly shot her in the spine.
Tadanori Sanbe (三部 忠則, Sanbe Tadanori)
Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto[3]
A university student and the first monster to become allies with Claire and Kagaya. Having found a coin he asked the Alien to make him stronger than anyone else. Already a martial artist Sanbe created his own martial art style to utilise the strength of his monster body, but finding humans no longer challenged him he has decided to challenge himself against as many monsters as he can. After losing a fight to Claire and Kagaya's teamwork he decided Kagaya was a "real man" and swore to be their ally in finding more coins, even though he himself has no interest in the coins anymore as strength was his only desire.
Chihiro Yoshioka (吉岡 ちひろ, Yoshioka Chihiro)
Voiced by: Kana Ichinose[3]
A young girl and member of Koyanagi's Gatherer group. An animal lover she asked the Alien for the ability to understand animals. In her monster form she remains mostly human, except for the fox ears that sprout on the side of her head, giving her the ability to hear how an animal is feeling. Preferring to keep her ears hidden she usually is seen wearing a motorcycle crash helmet covering her entire head and face.
Ikeuchi (池内, Ikeuchi)
Voiced by: Shōya Chiba[3]
A young man and member of Koyanagi's Gatherer group. A notorious coward he is easily controlled and manipulated by others, especially those he is scared of. He is in love with Chihiro but is too afraid to tell her. His monster ability lets him transform his head into a surveillance camera which he uses to follow and record Chihiro. Any recording he makes he is also able to upload to computers or wirelessly to the internet.
Subaru (スバル, Subaru)
Voiced by: Yō Taichi[3]
A very powerful Gatherer and a member of Elena's group. He despises being told what to do and enjoys killing people who try, except for Elena who is the only person he is willing to listen to. Rather than transform into a monster Subaru is able to summon and control two large monsters, a male on his left side and a female on his right that he calls his Parents. These parents are immensely strong and do all Subaru's fighting for him while Subaru is kept safe between the palms of the hands the Parents have instead of feet.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The manga is written by Sun Takeda, and began serialization in Kodansha's seinen manga magazine Young Magazine the 3rd since October 2015. To date, eight tankōbon volumes have been collected. Kodansha Comics also published six English volumes in North America.

No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 March 18, 2016[4]ISBN 978-4-06-382752-1March 19, 2019[5]ISBN 9781632367631
2 October 20, 2016[6]ISBN 978-4-06-382868-9May 28, 2019[7]ISBN 9781632367648
3 April 20, 2017[8]ISBN 978-4-06-382957-0July 23, 2019[9]ISBN 9781632367914
4 November 20, 2017[10]ISBN 978-4-06-510308-1October 15, 2019[11]ISBN 9781632368355
5 June 20, 2018[12]ISBN 978-4-06-511455-1November 19, 2019[13]ISBN 9781632368362
6 March 19, 2019[14]ISBN 978-4-06-514803-7February 18, 2020[15]ISBN 9781632369093
7 December 20, 2019[16]ISBN 978-4-06-518417-2August 18, 2020[17]ISBN 9781646510146
8 April 6, 2020[18]ISBN 978-4-06-519203-0November 4, 2020[19]ISBN 9781646510429

Anime[edit]

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the fourth issue of Young Magazine the 3rd on March 6, 2019. The series is animated by Pine Jam and directed by Kazuhiro Yoneda, with Shinichi Inotsume handling series composition, and Takahiro Kishida designing the characters. Ryōhei Sataka is composing the series' music.[20] It premiered on April 5, 2020 on Tokyo MX and other channels.[1][21] H-el-ical// performs the series' opening theme song[2] while international music group, Mili, performs its ending.[22] Funimation has acquired the series and streams the series on FunimationNow, AnimeLab, and Wakanim.[23]

No.Title [24][b]Original air date
1"Something Inside of Me"
Transcription: "Boku no Naka niwa" (Japanese: 僕の中には)
April 5, 2020 (2020-04-05)
A shadowy hand retrieves a golden coin and places it in a vending machine, out of which climbs a young man asking if the hand was the one who found it. Teenager Shuichi Kagaya is offered a place at college but rejects it in favour of appearing normal, so his recommendation is given to his classmate, Nana Mifune. Kagaya witnesses a fire and is able to scent a trapped girl. He reveals that several months previously he gained an unexplained ability to transform into a monster resembling a mascot costume. He saves the girl but becomes intoxicated by her scent and almost molests her. He manages to stop but drops his phone. The next day the girl, Kurea “Claire” Aoki, confronts him with his phone and reveals she knows he is a monster before pushing him from the school roof, forcing him to transform to save himself, then taking a photograph to blackmail him. Kagaya admits his ignorance of his powers before she shows him a coin which is somehow connected to monsters. At her apartment, where she lives alone, Claire explains the fire was actually her suicide attempt after no one else believed she had seen monsters. They are suddenly attacked by a girl searching for Claire’s coin, but she is overpowered by Kagaya. Claire attempts to interrogate her, but the girl identifies Claire and Kagaya as Gatherers, before also transforming into a monster.
2"What It Means to Be Empty"
Transcription: "Karappo no Imi" (Japanese: 空っぽの意味)
April 12, 2020 (2020-04-12)
The previous day, the girl, Hikawa, finds a gold coin, inserts it in the vending machine and meets the young man who gives her the ability to transform her limbs into monster limbs. Repulsed by this she searches for a second coin and sees Claire has one. Kagaya flees with Claire after she pepper sprayed Hikawa. Claire notices Kagaya has a zipper up his spine, but after opening it finds he is hollow, albeit made of flesh, and convinces him to let her climb inside. As she does they become able to sense each other’s feelings and memories. Hikawa finds them and attacks. They find that together they are stronger than Hikawa, however, Claire goes too far and savagely beats Hikawa, breaking her leg when she refuses to tell her how to use the coins, then shoots her with the revolver from the costume, killing her and traumatising Kagaya. A week later Kagaya tries to leave but Claire points out they are stronger as a team if other monsters show up. Kagaya wishes to die, so Claire tries to commit suicide again to die with him, but he saves her instead, unable to go through with it. Claire explains she is searching for her sister who became a monster and disappeared after killing their parents. It is shown six months previously a girl decided to use her wish to be with Kagaya, and the decoration on her school bag was the same mascot Kagaya now transforms into.
3"Elena"
Transcription: "Erena" (Japanese: エレナ)
April 19, 2020 (2020-04-19)
Claire decides they must test their abilities and tries to climb inside Kagaya completely naked, claiming his insides are hot and slimy, but an embarrassed Kagaya insists she wear a swimsuit. Claire decides to use Kagaya’s powerful nose to track Elena. However, upon smelling Elena’s clothing it becomes clear Elena murdered not only her parents, but potentially hundreds of people. They stake out the train station as Claire suspects Elena is hiding with someone helping her and hope they will catch Elena’s scent on them if they use the train. Someone finally appears with Elena’s scent so Claire rushes to see, only to realise it is Elena herself. They prepare to incapacitate Elena, but Kagaya is disturbed by Claire’s lack of emotions and stops her. Elena transforms and almost attacks, but when she realises it is Claire, she turns back, panicking. It is revealed that despite her powers Elena is socially incompetent and accepts they want to kill her, but asks if they decide to kill her, to do it somewhere non-public. Kagaya is confused as Elena acts nothing like Claire described. However, it becomes clear Elena has no idea Claire is inside Kagaya as she admits she was the one who wished for him to become a monster and thinks he wants to kill her in revenge. Claire accidentally reveals her presence, enraging Elena that Kagaya allowed another girl inside himself instead of her, so she transforms and tears his head off his body.
4"I Wish I was Someone Else"
Transcription: "Henshin Ganbō" (Japanese: 変身願望)
April 26, 2020 (2020-04-26)
Elena is immediately remorseful and apologises to Kagaya’s head. Claire tries to kill her, but Elena’s monster body is unharmed by gunfire. Elena reveals she was sick of their parents being terrible people so she killed them for Claire’s sake. She gives Claire a second coin before leaving. Claire decides to kill herself, only to realise Kagaya is still alive. She rushes to the vending machine and meets the young man, who reattaches Kagaya’s head in exchange for a coin. The man reveals he is a shape shifting alien and explains hundreds of his fellow aliens were returning to their home planet as streams of living data inside the coins, but they were scattered when their ship crashed, and as he is unable to repair the ship alone he is recruiting human Gatherers to find the coins. In exchange for this he offers the power to transform into any physical form, but should anyone collect 100 coins he will offer them any power they wish, maybe even enough to destroy a planet. Kagaya asks Claire not to use her remaining coin or it will ruin her life. Claire agrees, but only because her life has already improved since meeting Kagaya. They return to school, where Kagaya’s friend Nana manages to cheer him up without realising it and he decides he cannot let the power of 100 coins fall into the hands of anyone who might abuse it. Claire decides to find the crashed alien ship in the mountains, hoping it contains a hoard of coins that didn’t fall out when it crashed.
5"Crazy Enemies"
Transcription: "Yabai Teki" (Japanese: ヤバイ敵)
May 3, 2020 (2020-05-03)
The mountains are filled with warring Gatherers so Claire decides they must befriend some as fighting them all will be impossible. Kagaya locates a monster with bladed arms who, unfortunately, reveals he has no interest in more coins as he already received the inhuman strength he wanted and wants to test himself against monsters. Kagaya attacks first before Claire can stop him, and they are overpowered. Claire tries to end the fight by admitting they are weaker, but he decides to kill them to stop them finding 100 coins and becoming stronger than him. Claire draws their pistol and damages his arm, so the monster transforms to his human form, university student Tadanori Sanbe, to thank them for providing a challenge. He then changes back to a monster so Kagaya and Claire separate to trick him; Kagaya restrains him with Claire pointing the gun at his head, forcing him to admit he lost. Instead of killing him, Claire demands he becomes their ally. Another monster appears, having taken pictures of their human faces so they can’t escape, and demands they become his slaves, so Sanbe kills him. Claire laughs, realizing Sanbe is probably the strongest monster on the mountain, meaning other monsters will be easier to defeat. Kagaya explains how he and Claire fight together so Sanbe decides to join their team. Claire finds more pictures on the monsters phone and identifies their leader.
6"Gatherers"
Transcription: "Shūshūsha" (Japanese: 収集者)
May 10, 2020 (2020-05-10)
Claire uses the dead monsters phone to contact his victims and asks to join their group. The group insist on seeing her human form so Claire climbs out of Kagaya, revealing their partnership, but insists Kagaya stay safely in his monster form. Their leader, Koyanagi, reveals she knows Elena and also that she was once betrayed by a friend who couldn’t keep a secret, resulting in the suicide of the woman she loved, so she wished for a specific power that forces people to keep a secret. Claire agrees to be initiated. One group member, Chihiro, who has the ability to understand animal’s feelings, asks Kagaya to use his sense of smell to locate her lost wallet. While searching Kagaya is confused by Chihiro’s scent, so she insists on climbing inside him, naked, so he can scent her wallet without getting confused. Another group member, Ikeuchi, who is in love with Chihiru, watches them jealously with the security camera he has instead of a head. Chihiru is surprised when she can feel the feelings Kagaya has for Claire. Koyanagi offers Claire a necklace of her hair, warning her that if she puts it on it will fuse with her neck, and should she ever attempt to reveal the groups secrets it will tighten and cut off her head. Claire puts on the necklace. Elsewhere, one of Elena’s team, Subaru, comes across Chihiru’s wallet.
7"Metamorphosis"
Transcription: "Henkei" (Japanese: 変形)
May 17, 2020 (2020-05-17)
Koyanagi reveals she is a former classmate of Elena’s. Kagaya scents Chihiru’s wallet with Subaru and decides to get it back as it contains Chihiru’s address. Claire learns Kagaya left with Chihiru and insists on finding him, so Koyanagi sends their fighter, Yota, with her. Kagaya is found by Subaru, who reveals his power to summon a giant monster with two heads, and crushes them. Yota asks Claire out but she refuses, claiming Kagaya is her other half, hinting at her feelings for him. Kagaya and Chihiru, regretting their weaknesses, somehow fuse their broken bodies into a single monster fuelled by rage. Subaru is forced to summon his monster to save himself while Kagaya and Chihiru lose their individual selves and fuse into a single personality. They get past Subaru’s defences and almost shoot him with the twin pistols replacing Kagaya’s revolver, but the fight is stopped by Elena. Kagaya desperately wants to attack Elena, but Chihiru gains access to a memory Kagaya has apparently forgotten of Elena as a human, jarring her back to herself. With their minds separated their body falls unconscious. Elena has a flashback to meeting the alien, who is becoming more interested in humans and wonders if he has spent too long in a human body. Subaru tries to stand up to Elena but it is clear he is still intimidated by her. Claire and Yota find Kagaya and Chihiru unconscious and returned to their separate bodies.
8"Shadows in Memory"
Transcription: "Kioku no Kage" (Japanese: 記憶の影)
May 24, 2020 (2020-05-24)
Kagaya dreams about attending cram school as a young boy before waking up. Returning to Koyanagi Kagaya accepts the hair necklace before explaining neither he nor Chihiru can remember what happened. Isao, who controls plants, knows Kagaya as he lives near the cram school and saw Kagaya there with friends. This confuses Kagaya who can’t remember the friends. Miku, who can turn invisible, also knows Kagaya as she works at a local store. Clair accuses Chihiru of remembering what really happened. Realising Clair is jealous, Chihiru cryptically warns Clair she is too different from Kagaya to truly become one with him. Kagaya meets his friend, Abukawa, burying a dog hit by a car, making Kagaya suspicious. Ikeuchi spies on Kagaya and accuses him of hiding something. Kagaya starts to believe the purpose of his monster form is to protect normal, weaker people. Chihiru manages to call Elena to demand to know what Kagaya’s ability is, but she only explains it increases the abilities of two people with the same goal, and it is more powerful than Kagaya is aware of. Elena is infuriated after learning Chihiru had access to Kagaya’s memories she thought she had erased. Having seen Elena wasn’t always evil Chihiru asks her to help stop the power of 100 coins. Elena taunts her with the idea that someone may already have 100 coins and refuses to join them, claiming her goals and Kagaya’s are now too different. The next day, Koyanagi reveals that, based on where they have found coins already, she has a good idea where the spaceship may have crashed.
9"Staked Claims"
Transcription: "Gekitotsu no Māku" (Japanese: 激突のマーク)
May 31, 2020 (2020-05-31)
10"Beautiful Flower"
Transcription: "Utsukushī Hana" (Japanese: 美しい花)
June 7, 2020 (2020-06-07)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also romanized as "Clair".
  2. ^ All English titles are taken from Funimation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Gleipnir Action Romantic Comedy TV Anime's Premiere Listed as April 2020". Anime News Network. December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Gleipnir Anime Reveals Cast, More Staff, Theme Song Artist". Anime News Network. December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Gleipnir Anime Reveals 7 Additional Cast Members". Anime News Network. January 5, 2020. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  4. ^ "グレイプニル (1)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  5. ^ "Gleipnir 1". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  6. ^ "グレイプニル (2)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  7. ^ "Gleipnir 2". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "グレイプニル (3)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "Gleipnir 3". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  10. ^ "グレイプニル (4)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  11. ^ "Gleipnir 4". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  12. ^ "グレイプニル (5)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  13. ^ "Gleipnir 5". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  14. ^ "グレイプニル (6)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  15. ^ "Gleipnir 6". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  16. ^ "グレイプニル (7)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  17. ^ "Gleipnir 7". Penguin Random House. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "グレイプニル (8)" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  19. ^ "Gleipnir 8". Penguin Random House. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  20. ^ "Gleipnir TV Anime Reveals Visual, Main Staff". Anime News Network. March 5, 2019. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  21. ^ "Gleipnir Anime's 2nd Video Unveils Ending Song Artists, April 5 Premiere". Anime News Network. March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  22. ^ "Gleipnir Anime's 2nd Video Unveils Ending Song Artists, April 5 Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2020-03-17.
  23. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (March 19, 2020). "Funimation to Stream Gleipnir Anime in Spring". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  24. ^ "STORY TVアニメ「グレイプニル」公式サイト" (in Japanese). Retrieved April 6, 2020.

External links[edit]